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Current time:0:00Total duration:8:35

Video transcript

when people use the terms fascism or fascist today they're usually using it in a derogatory way to refer to a a group a regime or even an individual that is overly aggressive and controlling and totalitarian but its roots actually lie with Benito Mussolini who was in power in Italy during the 1920s and 1930s and through World War two and they proudly called themselves the fascists and their ideology as fascism and the word fash or the root of fascist and fascism come from the Italian word fascio which literally refers to a bundle it comes out of this idea that a bundle of things will be stronger together than individually and this is actually the symbol for fascism and and this this symbol of this bundle this sheaf of sticks this actually predates Mussolini by thousands of years it goes back to Roman times and even based on some of the things I've read even predates Roman times as a symbol of of unity a string a symbol of official strength and even before Mussolini came around the term was used by many many many groups that view themselves as a a League of revolutionaries a a group of people somehow fighting for change and Mussolini was no different when in nineteen the end of 1914 and then in early 1915 he establishes the fasci di Sione River Lucien Aria and I'm once again so sorry for my my butchering of an Italian word but this literally translates to group action revolutionary or you could say the revolutionary action group founded by Mussolini in 1915 and it was really a splinter of the Socialist Party when there's an irony there because Mussolini and fascism in particular is associated with strongly anti socialist ideology but as we enter into or as Europe was entering into World War in 1914 in 1914 some of the social or the mainstream of the Italian Socialist Party was against Italy entering the war they wanted Italy to maintain their neutrality but you had splinter groups more nationalist groups that said hey look this is Italy's this is Italy's chance to claim what it's what it's right it should join the war on the inside of the ant ant and Mussolini was one of these individuals and because of his his strong pro-war stance he was actually kicked out of his huge head of a socialist paper in 1914 and then he eventually by 1915 establishes the fasci di sione revolution area and by the end of World War one as we get into 1919 it regroups under the name fasci italiani de combate amento so this literally translates as you could view fasci as a group or league or revolutionary league of italians of combatants or or the combatant Italian revolutionary group I guess is one way to think about the Italian the the group of Italian combatants is another way to think about it and their their ideology and their ideology wasn't well established when what right when they set up it was just really around this idea that of being super Pro nationalist but it began to develop over the course of the 20s and the 1930s the core idea and I've already said it multiple times is kind of an extreme nationalism extreme nationalism and when we talk about extreme nationalism or nationalism in general it's talking about the the interests of one nation of one group above all others about putting the state above all other things oftentimes fascism is viewed as a right-wing group but in its purest form it's neither left or right wing at the left end of the spectrum you could imagine communist or socialism I'll write communism which is kind of you can do as an extreme form of socialism communism and at the extreme right you could imagine you know just complete free market complete unfettered free market ultra ultra small government and fascists and extreme nationalists they didn't view themselves as either end of the spectrum they kind of viewed themselves as a separate way where everything was subordinate the economy itself was subordinate to the state now with that said they tended to align themselves more with folks on the right so even though they weren't completely free market capitalists they were staunchly anti-communist an anti Socialist which caused them to form alliances a little bit more with the right but from their point of view it wasn't one of these extreme right-wing ideologies that the government should be subordinate to the economy that the government should be as small as possible it was much more that the economy was was there to serve national interests some of the other kind of ideologies that the fascists began to hold is this idea that force was a legitimate part of politics so force in politics and you we see this wouldn't Benito Mussolini's fascists through the use of the black shirts which was their paramilitary group which allowed them to eventually take political control and enforce political control and we later see it with other groups like the Nazis who are also tended to be associated with fascism and their storm troopers and their storm battalions their paramilitary forces that are used to essentially take political control the other aspect of them and as you can imagine when we're talking about either Mussolini or the Nazis is that they weren't really fans of democracy that they really not only did they think that everything should be subordinate to the state but that the state should have absolute control so it's not about democracy it's about having a strong leader at the top a strong one party at the top and in the case of of Mussolini it was a fascist in the case of Hitler it ends up being the Nazis so totalitarian completely totalitarian and then they also on these kind of all gelled together this idea of aggressive foreign policy and that's aggressive foreign policy is really in is rooted in this belief of cultural superiority and if you take the case of the not seize this belief in racial extreme racial superiority cultural superiority and I'm making a slight distinction there because in Mussolini's eyes he was actually quite disparaging even though Hitler looked to Mussolini as a something of a role model when Mussolini took power in 1922 it inspired Hitler's Beer Hall pooched Mussolini did not think much of Hitler through much of the 1920s and even early 1930s he thought Hitler's ideas of racial racial purity were really an illusion that there was no racially pure race he didn't really appreciate Hitler calling the Italians a mongrel race but Mussolini himself did think that the Italians were culturally superior and that would be their justification for an aggressive foreign policy for them taking over other other territory in in Europe and and in Africa and as we'll see because they shared so much in common ideologically the Nazis were you could kind of view as a more extreme form and the fascists themselves were quite extreme but the Nazis were a more extreme form of this of the same ideology they will even though in the 20s and early 30s Mussolini is more eager to to align himself with some of the other powers in Europe in particular Great Britain in France as we go into the second half of 1930s Mussolini in not and Hitler find themselves to be kindred spirits they both want to be aggressive in their foreign policy they both want to secure other territory they both have this idea that they need space for their superior populations to they're culturally superior and in the case of the Nazis racial the superior populations to grow and thrive and so as we enter into the second half of the 1930s and World War two the the you have Mussolini and the fascists become close allies of Hitler and the Nazis